Long-term cul­tural project is recog­nised

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By ADEN MILES

Toko­roa North School teacher Tara Puke and room three have been recog­nised for their long-term achieve­ments in the devel­op­ment of Maori lan­guage and cul­ture.

Their fierce pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion to­wards pro­mot­ing te reo Maori was recog­nised with the Long Term Ed­u­ca­tion Award at the Nga Tohu Reo Maori o Raukawa Awards.

Miss Puke says her class­room, which has 26 stu­dents, reg­u­larly par­tic­i­pated in cul­tural games, karakia and recit­ing whaka­papa.

Room three’s grow­ing love and en­thu­si­asm for the maori cul­ture re­flects Miss Puke’s own pas­sion for her cul­ture.

‘‘Now I can see my kids tak­ing it in to their own homes and play­grounds.

‘‘My ini­tial re­ac­tion was one of sur­prise but I was happy for the kids be­cause of all of their hard work. ‘‘I was proud. ‘‘What we had to do was demon­strate how we pro­moted it,’’ Miss Puke said.

Toko­roa North School’s en­try was the first time the school had en­tered the awards.

‘‘We do not re­ally see our­selves as a class­room but more of a whanau,’’ Miss Puke said.

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